Middle School

The Middle School encompasses Grades 6, 7 & 8. The program concentrates on the acquisition of basic academic skills while also encouraging individual interests, independent thought, global awareness and an enthusiasm for learning. The Middle School is structured with specialised teachers in each subject.

The curriculum is divided into Core Subjects and Additional Subjects.

CORE SUBJECTS


  • Language Arts
  • Literature
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Italian
  • Foreign Language (French/German/Spanish)
  • Latin (starting in Grade 7)

Core Subjects are allotted more hours of instruction, pupil achievement in the subject is evaluated and promotion depends on the level of achievement in these subjects (with the exception of Latin).

ADDITIONAL SUBJECTS


  • Art
  • Physical Education

Additional Subjects are allotted less hours of instruction and are given an effort evaluation, with the exception of Latin which is also evaluated on student achievement.

Students in the Middle School can also participate in a well-rounded program of extra-curricular activities of both an athletic and cultural nature. Field trips are organized within Italy and abroad. These activities are essential for the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of the student.

CORE SUBJECTS (^top)


LANGUAGE ARTS
The Language Arts program in the Middle School grades follows a language arts and grammar text, supplemented with opportunities for practice, testing, remedial work and enrichment.
The objective of the language program is to develop fluency in the various aspects of the English language – speaking, writing, oral and written comprehension, reading and spelling. A familiarity with and a correct use of basic English grammar is regarded as essential to the acquisition of this fluency. Internet sites are also used to practice Language Arts lessons and communication.
At the end of Grade 8, students can choose to take exams in order to obtain the Cambridge ESOL B2 First Certificate. These exams are not mandatory and are at the student’s expense.

LITERATURE
The English Literature program in the Middle High grades follows two literature anthologies with supplements in important British and American Literature. Creative writing (e.g. poetry & essays) and critical appreciation of texts form an integral part of the curriculum.
The objectives of the Middle School literature program are to introduce students to novels, short stories, plays and poetry and instill in them a love for literature. The program also aims at developing the skill of literary analysis as a means of greater literary appreciation as well as the writing of poetry. An important aspect of the program is analysing, interpreting and evaluating all forms of literature (e.g. poems, novels) using various media and technology.

SOCIAL STUDIES
There are three main aspects to the Social Studies program in the Middle School years. The study of history helps students to develop an understanding of the past, its influence on the present and its implications for the future. The study of geography serves to develop an understanding of the relationship of people with their environment, a sense of place, and a sense of self in relation to personal, local, national and international location. Finally, by incorporating elements of sociology, anthropology, economics, ethics and politics students will concentrate on the study of human relations between individual groups and societies and how their values shape our social systems The main concepts focused on are interdependence, change, scarcity, conflict and culture. Students will develop research, thinking, social participation and orientation skills.

MATHEMATICS
The Mathematics program is based on the premise that an infromation and technolgy-based society requires individuals who are able to think critically about complex issues, solve multi-faceted problems, adapt to new situations and effectively communicate their thinking processes and build on their Mathematics studies in Elementary School. The main curricular objective in Mathematics is to provide students with the framework needed to meet these goals, leading to the mastery of skills in mathematical stuctures, operations and thought processes, promoting logical reasoning, effective problem solving and related technological skills. Students are encouraged to explore mathematical phenomena in concrete “real life” activities, to identify relationships between these and everyday situations and to use acquired concepts and skills to extend thinking in other subject areas. Main areas of focus are: Number Sense, Logical Reasoning & Problem Solving, Measurement, Geometry, Statistics, Data Analysis & Probability, Algebra & Functions. Students are guided in their learning from concrete experiences, to pictorial representation and finally to abstract concept representation, as in the world-recognised Singapore Mathematics method.
In Grades 6 and 7, students will cover operations and one and two-step algebraic equations with integers, fractions, decimals, percentages and ratios; various ways of simple statistical analysis; graphing and interpretation of linear equations; use and manipulation of simple formulae; angle geometry and polygons; the area of various shapes and the volume of various subjects; probability and dependent and independent events; fundamental transformations; the solving of worded questions mathematically; problem solving techniques.
In Grade 8 fundamental concepts of Algebra and Geometry are covered. In Algebra, students learn how to simplify algebraic expressions, solve linear and simultaneous equations and inequalities, graph linear and simultaneous equations, read information from graphs and solve exponential equations and problems.
In Geometry, students cover angles, parallel and perpendicular lines, draw and read various complex transformations. They also study the properties of various quadrilaterals, regular polygons, triangles, areas of various shapes, the Pythagorean Theorem, arc lengths and areas of segments of circles, as well as the surface area and volume of various objects.

SCIENCE
The Science program employs a student-centred focus that relies on inquiry as the basis for learning. Through stuctured units of inquiry, students are encouraged to ask questions, make hypothesis, plan routes to test their ideas, make observations, collect data, draw conclusions, interpret, analyse and evaluate results and communicate findings using appropriate Science-specific vocabulary. Students are also exposed to the latest global discoveries in Science and Technology, with the ultimate goal of developing existing knowledge to facilitate a deeper understanding of the world. Learners conduct experiments and investigations with peers. The program includes updates on global environmental issues and encourages awareness of the importance of personal choice in caring for the planet. Content areas include the following:

Grade 6:

BiologyChemistryPhysics
– Cells– Acids & Alkalis– Energy Respources
– Reproduction– Simple Chemical Reactions– Electrcial Circuits
– Environment & Feeding
  Relationships- Variation & Classification
– Particle Model of Solids, Liquids & Gases

– Solutions

– Forces & their Effects
– The Solar System & Beyond

 

Grade 7:

BiologyChemistryPhysics
– Food & Digestion– Atoms & Elements– Heating & Cooling
– Respiration– Compounds & Mixtures – Magnets & Electromagnets
– Microbes & Disease– Rocks & Weathering–  Light
– Ecological Relationships– Rock Cycle– Sound & Hearing

 

Grade 8:

BiologyChemistryPhysics
– Inheritance & Selection

– Fit & Healthy

– Reactions & Metals

– Metal Compounds

– Electricity & Energy

– Gravity & Space

– Plants & Photosynthesis– Patterns of Reactivity– Speeding Up
– Plants for Food– Environmental Chemistry– Pressure & Moments
 – Using Chemistry 

 

ITALIAN
The Italian program in Junior High School is a follow up to the program started in Elementary School. The program aims at maturing and developing comprehension as well as the spoken and written language through the interweaving of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, according to the various functions of the language. Stress is placed on content as well as on a correct formal use of the language.
The continuity of the Italian program from Elementary through Middle School is a major objective at the udine international school . Programs follow those outlined by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR), thus guaranteeing that a student who does not attend the entire international school cycle can continue his/her studies in any Italian school, whether public or private.

  • The first objective of this program is to develop the skills to understand and organize the written as well as the oral language in its various but complementary expressive forms.
  • The second objective is to attain a correct pronunciation of the language, correct and expressive reading skills and correct writing skills through spelling, semantics, vocabulary and syntax (for further information consult “Program of Studies & Parent-Student Handbook” in the “Information” section). The program of studies is enriched with various cultural field trips and visits to museums, exhibits, libraries, historical, artistic and archaeological sites.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE
French and German are the Core Foreign Language options and will always be available to our JHS students. The Spanish course will be available to Middle School students upon enrolment of at least five students.
The foreign languages are studied starting from an English mother-tongue base, thus consolidating grammar acquisition in both languages.
The main objective of this three-year course is that of acquiring a solid fundamental knowledge of the foreign language as a means of communication by stressing speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. The candidate with time will be able to communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring the most common polite phrases and exchanges of information. Attention is given to the phonetic, lexical and grammatical areas of the language in order to acquire a correct pronunciation as well as sentence building.
The program uses core textbooks and supplementary reading materials, audio materials and audio-visual materials as well as computer programs. At a more advanced level, students engage in conversations, dialogies, debates or the discussion of ideas from literary excerpts. The foreign language culture, lifestyle as well as some history, geography and literature, will be introduced.
At the end of Grade 8, students can choose to take exams in order to obtain the:

FRENCH
DELF A2 (Diplôme Européen de Langue Française) certificate.

GERMAN
KID A2 (Zertifikat Kompetenz in Deutsch).

SPANISH
DELE A2 certificate (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extrajnera).

The certification exams are not mandatory and at students’ expense.

LATIN
The Latin program is aimed at giving students a solid basis to continue the study of this subject in high school. Latin is allotted two lessons per week starting from Grade 7.
The main goal of the program is to give students a clear understanding of the phonetics and syntax of the simple sentence. Students will study and analyze various aspects of the Latin civilization in Ancient Rome from an historic as well as literary point of view. Major authors of the Latin language, such as Ovid, Seneca, Cicero, Catullo… will be introduced and passages of their writing translated into Italian.

ADDITIONAL SUBJECTS (^top)


ART
The Middle School program continues a more in depth study of the language of art begun in Elementary School: the elements (lines, shapes, tone, colour and texture) and the principles of drawing (rhythm, balance, harmony, unity, contrast). Students will continue more advanced forms of drawing, painting and sculpture.
Art history is an integral part of the curriculum. Furthermore, students learn the critical analysis of famous works of art as well as of their own work. The combination of studio work, art history, and art analysis consolidates the student’s ability to create and appreciate art.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
For an overview of the aims of the Physical Education program at The Udine International School, please refer to the Elementary School Curriculum.
During the Middle School years, group interaction is an extremely important part of growing up. With this concept in mind, the program is designed to stress group participation. Emphasis is placed on team games and the learning of team strategies. Being a member of a team is extremely important to the adolescent. While many students may never again participate in team activities, these activities are nonetheless a very important part of an adolescent’s social development. Active participation is stressed and student evaluation is based more on effort and attitude rather than on individual ability. Nonetheless, excellence is encouraged and students are given ample opportunity to try traditional local sports and more importantly emphasis is placed on less traditional international sports where rules, customs and skills are taught.

 

 2016-UIS-EL-MIDDLE-S-Program-of-Studies-Handbook-updated-November-2016.pdf